The research track student is expected to carry out independent research under the guidance of a research mentor. For completion of the degree, it is expected that the student has completed a research project that will contribute to a publication (current or future) from the lab. Progress through the degree includes the requirement to select a research committee, prepare a research proposal to present at a first year committee meeting, and prepare and defend a research thesis (see below for further guidance and forms to submit to the M.S. advisors upon completion of each requirement).
Complete the Program Requirements
Research Track Milestones
Orientation Advising Session
During or before orientation, students will met with their respective advisor. In the orientation session, students review any outstanding prerequisites, discuss options for the first semester of coursework, briefly go over program requirements, and get suggestions on courses to take during their time in the program.
The orientation advising form will be used to facilitate the conversation with the advisor. When complete, this form should be submitted to the program coordinator.
The Ethics Workshop has the goal of fostering ethical and professional conduct. This workshop will be organized by the M.S. program director, and will occur every year in the fall semester. It is a requirement for both track options.
Establishing a Research Advisory Committee (RAC)
The student in the research option is
Research and Coursework Proposal and Committee Meeting
The student will have a committee meeting within the first twelve months or 15 credits in the program to present their research proposal to the research committee. The purpose of the first year meeting is to introduce committee members to the research project plan, to assess satisfactory progress in training, and to evaluate that the coursework completed or planned is aligned with research and future goals. To facilitate this process, the student will write a research proposal and distribute it to the committee at least two weeks prior to the meeting. Guidelines on the research proposal format can be found here, M.S. Proposal Format. The first year meeting form should be completed at the meeting and sent to the Program Coordinator
Research Thesis and Defense
For completion of the degree, the student must write a formal thesis, and defend it to their research committee at an oral exam. Guidelines on the format of the thesis and the oral examination can be found here, M.S. Thesis Format. The recommendation for award of the M.S. degree will be based on the strength of the thesis, the oral examination, and completion of coursework and all other Graduate School requirements.
At least three weeks prior to the defense, the student must request the final warrant from the program coordinator.
Research Track Certification Form
The research track certification form helps assist the student, advisor, and program organize the student’s progress to degree completion. It is a helpful tool to be used each semester to track progress. The semester the student anticipates graduating, the form should be completed and sent to the program coordinator.
Sample Two-Year Plan
This sample two-year plan is a tool to assist students and their advisor(s). Students should use it —along with their current transcript and Course Search & Enroll tools —to make their own plan based on their individual interests, career direction, and research (if applicable). Plans may vary considerably from student to student, depending on their individual preparation and circumstances. Part-time students will have a different plan and should anticipate more time to graduation.
The example plans assumes that students will:
- Have completed their prerequisites prior to matriculating in the program
- Have not completed the required program courses (Micro 303, Micro 470, Micro 526 and Biochem 501) prior to matriculating in the program
- Be enrolling as a full-time student for fall and spring terms during their time in the program